Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 29th March 2017 – Nicholas Rossis, The Story Reading Ape, Patricia Salamone and C.S. Boyack


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to today’s look at some of the blog posts I have enjoyed. I tend to have a wide taste in subject matter with books and writing obviously high on the list. But I would love it if you would share either one of your own posts or one that you have enjoyed by another blogger by leaving a link in the comments section of the post.

First is an opportunity to feature two bloggers author Nicholas Rossis with a post on the subject of Endbooks which make opening a print copy unexpected and a great way to segway into the writing. His post was inspired by the blog post by Sarah Laskow’s blog http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/best-endpapers-design-history

In the endless eBook vs. print debate, one aspect is rarely mentioned: the art of endbooks. And yet, as Sarah Laskow—my favorite Atlas Obscura blogger—points out, these can deliver a small jolt of wonder that perfectly complements a lovely book. An over-eager reader can breeze by even the most striking endbooks, yet they’re an art form with a history all their own.

An ENDuring Hostory

For centuries, designers have taken the formal necessity of joining a book’s pages to its cover and turned it into an opportunity for creativity. When a book is made, one side of an endpaper (sometimes also called an endpage or endleaf) is pasted into the inside of the book’s cover; the other side is the first page of the book.

Read the rest of the post and see more examples of this wonderful way to embellish your books: http://nicholasrossis.me/2017/03/28/the-overlooked-charm-of-endbooks/

The next post is from The Story Reading Ape who invites a wide selection of guests onto his blog to promote their work.  Today he welcomed guests Al and Sunny Lockwood who have turned their travels into a series of fascinating books.

As I gingerly step into my seventh decade on planet Earth, I’m filled with dreams and ready for adventure.

When I was younger, I was eager to do it all — earn college degrees, travel widely, run a business, write books, try all sorts of exciting things. I felt a type of urgency, like if I didn’t do all this stuff right now, I’d never do it and I’d end up old and full of regrets.

Is that do-it-now urgency a typical aspect of youth? I think it may simply be part of a full and fulfilling life no matter what your age. We live in the now, don’t we. While we carry our past with us, and we look forward to tomorrow, the only time we really have is right now to do the things we long for.

In any event, I did all that I’d dreamed of doing. And more. I developed publications for universities, wrote for magazines and even worked as a newspaper editor for a while. I did some skydiving, produced a TV show called “Women Working” at Gill Cable in San Jose, California, and enjoyed interesting friends from California to Main.

Read more about Al and Sunny’s travels that have become fascinating travel books: https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2017/03/29/meet-guest-author-sunny-lockwood/

Next Patricia Salamone shares the story of her honeymoon over 40 years ago and some of the unexpected experiences encountered.  I am sure Patricia would love to hear your honeymoon adventures (within reason) so please head over and share.

A HONEYMOON OVER FORTY YEARS AGO

I know many, many people that love to watch horror. I can’t, I have nightmares if I do. However, I can read a scary book without having nightmares but it sort of hangs with me for a while. Many years before I married I read a book called ‘Harvest Home’ by Thomas Tryon. Talk about scary. I’m posting this first for a reason.

When I got married years later and we were on our honeymoon it was January with over twenty inches of snow on the ground. We stayed in a Pocono, Pa. Resort. When we arrived we were taken to our cabin.

Read the rest of this entertaining post and share your own misadventures: https://the-italian-thing.com/2017/03/27/a-honeymoon-over-forty-years-ago/

Author C.S. Boyack welcomed crime thriller writer Sue Coletta to his blog yesterday. Sue talks about The Mystery Surrounding Antlers. Sue is also about to release her latest book and antlers feature so great opportunity to find out more about them and her new book.

Fans of the TV show Hannibal know the cannibal psychiatrist and gourmet chef—although his ingredients are quite questionable—often uses deer antlers to create macabre crime scenes. Some may think the creators of the show stole the idea from HBO’s True Detective, but that isn’t the case. The original idea stemmed from Stephen King. In his 1979 hit Salem’s Lot, King impaled one of the characters with antlers. They say it takes three repetitions to create a trend, and perhaps there’s some truth to that.

Antlers intrigued me enough to write them into my new novel, CLEAVED.

Read more about the mystery of antlers and Sue’s new book: https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/cleaved-by-sue-coletta/

Thanks for dropping by and hope you enjoy reading the posts in the selection.. Don’t forget to leave your link to your most recent post or one that you have enjoyed in the comments section.

Smorgasbord Short Story – The Surprise by Sally Cronin


This short story began life as flash fiction for a challenge. As I was restricted to a certain number of words I decided to expand on the story and share with you.

The Surprise- by Sally Cronin

Lawrence Matthews was a good looking man. Tall, with jet black hair, he could charm the birds out of the trees… or out of a nightclub and into the back of his car which was as flash as he was. The life and soul of any party, he would splash the cash and whilst the fairer sex adored him, males clustered around him on the off chance some of his luck with the girls might rub off.

He had fallen into the estate agency business through sheer luck when he left school. His best friend’s father owned several offices in the surrounding county and he offered Lawrence the opportunity to join along with his son as a trainee. His friend soon discovered that he was unable to come out from under his friend’s shadow, leaving to join the army, but Lawrence was born for the job. He worked his way up to branch manager in an exclusive area by his mid-twenties, and as a salesman he excelled. Sometimes his unsuspecting clients would wonder why they ended up with the house they did. Good old Lawrence always popped round and reinforced all the positives about the property they might have overlooked when the back wall of the house subsided.

Lawrence rarely took any of his expanding group of acquaintances home to the modest terrace house where he was brought up. To be honest, his parents, who were quite shy and retiring, had no idea how they had produced this charismatic son of theirs. His father privately wondered if he had not been switched at birth; especially on the rare occasion he joined Lawrence down the pub for a pint. He would sit there quietly sipping his beer and watch as people gathered to bask in the radiance that emanated from his offspring.

More and more he refused his son’s infrequent invitations. Eventually he and his equally mystified wife sold their home and moved to Bognor to retire. Lawrence barely noticed their departure and would phone once in a while and threaten to come down for a weekend. His parents soon realised that these promises were empty, resigning themselves to the fact that Lawrence was far too involved in his own life to be bothered about them.

Whilst apparently an open book as far as the world was concerned, there were a couple of things that Lawrence liked to conceal from people. One was his pathological fear of snakes that did not enhance his macho and gym-toned public persona. At five years old his well-meaning parents had bought him a Jack-in-the Box type toy for his birthday. He had screamed like a girl when a two foot and very life-like banded snake had launched itself at him from the stupid thing.

The other secret was his little gambling habit. He did love those horses but unfortunately they did not love him. This had not been too bad when property was selling like hotcakes, but with the downturn, his commission was as extinct as a Dodo. This little matter was resolved by the charm offensive, seduction and marriage to Rebecca, the daughter of a multi-millionaire retailer who gave them a rather nice cash settlement on their wedding day. Just in time as recently the account with his bookie had plummeted deeply into the red. Their frequent telephone conversations had become downright hostile.

Apart from the gambling there were also some other side activities that Lawrence kept from his wife who would look at him adoringly when he walked through the door each evening. She seemed to accept that he needed to work late a couple of evenings a week, taking potential clients to dinner or showing properties in the longer summer evenings. He was careful to make sure that he didn’t bring home evidence of his dalliances, thinking himself rather clever at having his cake and eating it.

His wife was pretty enough he supposed, but he also thought she was not very bright. He did however appreciate the generous monthly allowance that her father paid into his daughter’s bank account which he offered to manage for her. She had agreed readily enough, and to his knowledge never bothered to check her bank balance. Lawrence decided to do a little mining into the account and gradually syphoned off thousands of pounds to cover his debts over the next few months. To celebrate he suggested that he and Rebecca head off to Thailand for a second honeymoon.

They stayed at the best hotel close to the sandy white beach where the calm waters invited the visitors in for swimming and water sports. For the more adventurous, deep sea snorkeling was on offer, and surprisingly the normally reserved Rebecca, took to the activity like a duck to water. She headed off with one of the undersea guides every day for several hours returning exhausted and full praise for her guide’s patient tutelage.

Lawrence was a little miffed if he was honest at not being the centre of attention. He got a bit bored lying by the pool and sipping a selection of exotic drinks off the cocktail menu. He spent some time flirting with some of the younger bikini clad sun worshippers; knowing that he would be unlikely to get away with anything more in these restricted confines.

At the start of the second week Rebecca suggested that he might come with her out to a small reef just a five minute swim off shore. Taken by surprise by her rather seductive smile and the sight of her now bronzed body in her bikini he nodded his agreement. He donned his mask and after some tips from Rebecca on how to breathe and dive with his apparatus, they headed away from the beach.

He had to admit it was pretty stunning seeing all the brightly coloured fish and coral life and he relaxed into the adventure. Suddenly, his wife appeared right in front of him with her hand behind her back. She gestured to him to rise to the surface.

They both removed their masks and as the warm water lapped around his neck he saw Rebecca’s gloved hand reach out towards him rapidly. He felt an excruciating pain in his neck and looked down to see the brightly coloured, writhing body of a snake. As his vision blurred he screamed like a girl and stared at his wife treading water calmly.

As his eyes met Rebecca’s cold and steady gaze, she mouthed just one word.

“Surprise.”

©sallycronin 2017

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Reading and Author Inteview – John Fioravanti


Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

Please extend a warm welcome to my guest today on the Cafe Book Reading.. author John Fioravanti. I know that having read John’s interview you will have your own questions and please put those in the comments section of the post.

First something about John Fioravanti in his own words.

I taught high school history for thirty-five years in just two schools in the Waterloo, Ontario region. My wife and business partner, Anne, and I have been married for more than 40 years. We have three adult children and three grandchildren. In 2002, I wrote an educational book for high school students about writing skills in the discipline of History. “Getting it Right In History Class” is available in Canadian and International editions at Wintertickle Press.

In 2006, Iceberg Publishing commissioned me to write an inspirational book about my years in the classroom. “A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching” was published in 2007. The book won a Bronze Medal at the IPPY International Awards in Los Angeles in May, 2008. I retired from teaching the next month.

My wife and I decided to strike off on our own and founded our own publishing company in December, 2013. We called it Fiora Books. Our good friends at Iceberg Publishing turned my award winning book back over to us to publish under the Fiora Books imprint. The 2014 edition of “A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching” was released in May, 2014 on Amazon in paperback and eBook formats.

This was followed by Passion & Struggle Book One of The Genesis Saga in 2014, Treachery & Triumph Book Two of the series in 2015

One of the latest reviews for Book One of The Genesis Saga.

Mr. Fioravanti wrote a thought provoking science fiction story set in the year 2796. There is a lot of detail in the beginning of the story, that slowed me down at first. Although, once I got into the story, I was hooked. I found some chilling parallels with the story line and what is happening in our own world. Genesis is a tropical planet that humans inhabited after they had to leave Earth when a virus got out of control. Earth was left to evolve in new ways. A common enemy united both planets for a past war. This led to Genesis trying a new form of government modeling after Earth.

Implementing government reform does not go well, because Genesis is a society evenly split between religion and science/warrior classes. But, “Passion & Struggle” is about more than politics, war and religion. There is romance, adventure, hidden agendas, friendships, enemies and intrigue. The relationship between Earth and Genesis is fascinating within itself, but it’s the people that kept my attention. When I got to the last page, I wanted the story to continue and luckily it does! I will be reading the rest of the series!

Reflections: Inspirational Quotes and Interpretations in 2016.

REFLECTIONS was a perfect book to read over the holidays. Each chapter focuses on an inspirational quote from such notable people as Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Anne Frank; and, because of this approach, the book can be read non-linearly. The reader can move from one reflection to another, as interest dictates.

There are 50 quotations included in the book, each of which author Fioravanti provides his interpretations, a practice he adopted for his weekly blog. His thoughts, measured and insightful, spur the reader to consider his or her own. This book earns my endorsement and support with Five well-deserved Stars.

Find out more about John’s books and his latest reviews: https://www.amazon.com/John-Fioravanti/e/B00JSAHGAU

Now time to discover more about John and his life and work. He is looking forward to answering your questions and please pop them into the comments at the end of the post.

Welcome John and could you tell us about your chosen genre of books that you write and why?

My first chosen genre is Inspirational Non-Fiction. I entered the teaching profession in 1973 to help young people navigate the treacherous waters of the teen years, and my desire to help others has never gone away. I also write Science Fiction having been inspired by Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek TV series when I was in high school. I never lost my fascination for space exploration. My sci-fi books are best described as human drama in a futuristic society, as opposed to classic space battles with otherworldly technology.

Tell us about your blog and your main features. With a link to what you consider best sums you up as a blogger?

My blogs have fallen into three categories – the first two reflect the genres in which I write. In the MY INSPIRATION blog series, I select an inspirational quote by an author or well-known person and then write an interpretive reflection about the quote.  https://wordpress585519.wordpress.com/category/uncategorized/my-inspiration/

The second set of blogs are vignettes called GENESIS CHRONICLES. These are a set of 25 prequels to my current sci-fi series called The Genesis Saga. https://wordpress585519.wordpress.com/category/the-genesis-chronicles/

My latest set of blogs reflects my interest in teaching History in the classroom for 35 years. JOHN’S ARCHIVES put forward five events that happened on the current date in history, as well as three famous people born on that date: https://wordpress585519.wordpress.com/category/johns-archives/

What do you believe is the most important event to have affected our lives in the last 100 years?

I believe the most important event that has affected our lives in the last 100 years is the advent of the World Wide Web in 1989-90. Although there were other networks established two to three decades earlier, the Internet has profoundly impacted just about every aspect of our lives. I won’t list all of those ways here, but there are a few that are most important to me.

First, the Internet allows families to connect regularly, keep those bonds of affection, and support alive and well. As well, The WWW has revolutionised the global economy allowing many people to support themselves through online businesses. Now we can shop from our computers and other devices! Finally, the Internet, through social media, has impacted world events like no other medium in history. Would the throngs of women who marched in most major cities around the world recently have happened without the linkage provided by social media? I think not.

As a history teacher for thirty-five years what do you feel has been the most significant change to the education system in that time?

The most significant change in education during my career (1973-2008) was the advent of the Internet coupled with the use of computers in the classroom. The Internet has revolutionised research for every level of education. In my day, we researched at the school library and the local public library. The use of computers at home and the classroom has given students an invaluable learning tool to use in every area of study across the curriculum. As a teacher, my effectiveness in lesson presentation, skill development for students and in assessment and evaluation – and reporting, was enhanced many times over by the computer and access to the Internet. The exciting thing is that these twin tools are still evolving!

You have written both non-fiction and fiction. Which do you prefer and why?

Of the two genres, fiction and non-fiction, I prefer to write my science fiction novels. Just as reading a great novel is first-rate escapism, so too is writing such a book. As the author, I love to escape my reality in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in 2017 to write stories about people living on a fictitious planet in a distant galaxy, six hundred years into the future.

I devoured novels by the dozen as a kid growing up and always regarded the authors as special beings. How did they come up with these plots and characters? How did they weave subplots together? When I discovered later in life that I can do this too, I was thrilled! I also love the act of creation – bringing something into existence that was not there before. Writing fiction is exciting stuff!

Having been a history teacher, which era do you feel has been the most significant in terms of the nations we are today?

As a history teacher, I’d say that the most significant era that impacted the nations that we are today is the period of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. This period saw the decline and breakup of the global European empires, the rise of independence movements among colonies, and most importantly for all of us, the ascendancy of the United States to the #1 world power status by 1900 and super power status by 1945. The Americans have had more influence on the world regarding economics, culture, politics and the military than any nation in history. We were spared World War III because the USA assumed the mantle of “World Cop” and enforced Pax Americana with a military unparalleled in size and power.

Connect to John on his website and social media.

Fiora Books websitehttp://fiorabooks.com/
Twitter Accounts:  https://twitter.com/JohnJFioravanti  and  https://twitter.com/FioraBooks
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/john.f.fioravanti  and  https://www.facebook.com/FioraBooks/
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-fioravanti-3a817718/
Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JohnFioravantiAuthor
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5246942.John_Fioravanti

My thanks to John for his thought provoking answers to the questions and it is now your turn to take over the interview with your own questions. John will be popping into the interview over the next two days or so to respond.

 

William Price King meets some Legends – Bruce Springsteen – Part Four – 1990’s to 2006


We are now entering the 1990s and Bruce Springsteen would later acknowledge that the 1990s were a “lost period” for him: “I didn’t do a lot of work. Some people would say I didn’t do my best work.”

I will now hand over to William Price King to explore the changes in Springsteen’s career during the decade.

Following Bruce Springsteen’s move to California in 1991 there was a change in the mood and tone of his music. He was clearly much happier in his personal life, and the rawness and intensity in his music that had propelled his career to such success in the previous decade, was evolving into a more measured delivery. Part of this was that he no longer recorded with the E Street Band, which to many of his fans, was a disappointment. He still continued to work with pianist Roy Bittan and Springsteen added studio musicians including Randy Jackson on bass guitar and Jeff Porcaro on drums to work on his next albums.

He released two albums on the same day on March 31st 1992 – Human Touch and Lucky Town. Springsteen had been working on Human Touch since the late 1980s with the intention of releasing in 1990. As he had shelved the project in 1991 as he began recording Lucky Town coming back to it the following year.

Human Touch featured mainly love songs and received critical success with some considering that the title track was amongst some of his best work, however his fans were not as enthusiastic. Lucky Town had a different folk theme and focused on specific events in Bruce Springsteen’s life rather than his love life. Living Proof for example was about the birth of his first son.

However, there was good news in 1994 when the multiple Grammy Award winner also won an Academy Award for his song Streets of Philadelphia, from the soundtrack of the film Philadelphia.

This haunting ballad captures the pain and the loneliness that accompanied the AIDS crisis. It was also a comeback for Springsteen, earning him a spot in Billboard’s Top 10, four Grammys as well as the Oscar. The vocal track from the video was recorded live during the shooting, using a hidden microphone – a new modern day technique at the time which was quite appropriate for emotionally intense songs.

His next release in 1995 followed a temporary reunion with the E Street Band to record a handful of new songs for his first Greatest Hits Album. This was followed by his second predominantly solo guitar album, The Ghost of Tom Joad which was inspired by John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and by Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass, a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dale Maharidge and photographer Michael Williamson.

Although Springsteen’s first guitar solo album Nebraska had done fairly well, this second album did meet with some criticism for the poor melody and vocals although some praised it for giving a voice to immigrants and others who rarely featured in American Culture. The extended Ghost Tom Joad Tour which was performed in small venues also included some of his older and popular tracks, stripped back in a new acoustic form.

However the decade did end on a high note when Springsteen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 by Bono of U2. To the delight of his fans, 1999 also brought Springsteen and the E Street Band together for a year long Reunion Tour. The final two shows were recorded for HBO and the corresponding DVD and album were released as Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live in New York City.

In 2002, Springsteen released his first studio effort with the full band in 18 years, The Rising, produced by Brendan O’Brien.  This record became Springsteen’s best-selling album of new material in 15 years. Kicked off by an early-morning Asbury Park appearance on The Today Show, The Rising Tour commenced, barnstorming through a series of single-night arena stands in the U.S. and Europe to promote the album in 2002, then returning for large-scale, multiple-night stadium shows in 2003.

Waiting on a Sunny Day is from the album The Rising, which predominantly deals with themes of relationship struggles, existential crisis, and social uplift, in the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks. But this particular upbeat song is a reflection of a much simpler world, before the terror attacks. For Bruce Springsteen, this song was “a good example of pop song writing,” which he wrote in the style of Smokey Robinson.

Springsteen’s fan base both in the USA and in Europe had remained loyal throughout the 1990s but there had definitely been a cooling off in his popularity in the central and southern states due to his political leanings. Now however, The Boss was definitely back, and this was demonstrated by the 10 nights the band played in the Giants Stadium in New Jersey that has seldom been equalled. The Rising Tour finished with three nights in Shea Stadium with a guest appearance by Bob Dylan.

This successful album and tour was followed in April 2005 with the release of Devils and Dust, recorded without the E Street Band. Another low key acoustic album it did feature more orchestration than Nebraska and The Ghost of Tom Joad albums. The title track is about an ordinary soldier’s feelings and fears during the Iraq War and the rest of the album reinforced Springsteen’s anti-corporate sentiments. The album entered the charts at #1 in ten countries including the US, UK, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.

In April 2006, Springsteen released We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, an American roots music project focused around a big folk sound treatment of 15 songs popularized by the radical musical activism of Pete Seeger. This was Springsteen’s first album of cover songs and his second consecutive non-E Street Band and non-rock music project.

It was recorded with a large ensemble of musicians including only Patti Scialfa, Soozie Tyrell, and The Miami Horns from past efforts. In contrast to previous albums, this was recorded in only three one-day sessions, and frequently one can hear Springsteen calling out key changes live as the band explores its way through the tracks.

A tour began the same month. The tour proved very popular in Europe, selling out everywhere and receiving some excellent reviews. Bruce Springsteen with The Sessions Band: Life in Dublin, containing selections from three nights of November 2006 shows at the Point Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, was released the following June.

Old Dan Tucker is from the album, which won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album in 2007. This song is largely Anglo-American in nature but has black influences and falls into the idiom of minstrel music, relying on rhythm and text declamation as its primary motivation with a very simple melody and a simple harmonic base.

Additional material: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Springsteen

For concert schedules and news: http://brucespringsteen.net/

Buy Bruce Springsteen’s Music: https://www.amazon.com/Bruce-Springsteen/e/B000AQ2ZLQ

The previous Bruce Springsteen posts: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-meets-some-legends/

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You will find the previous artists..  Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Kiri Te Kanawa in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/classical-music-with-william-price-king/

And for the Jazz in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-jazz-and-music-series/

Thank you so much for stopping by and your feedback is always very welcome. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 28th March 2017 – Dan Alatorre, All Doggie, Judith Barrow and Jennie Fitzkee


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

It is that time of day again to share a small selection of blog posts from the ones I have read and enjoyed.  If I have missed yours then I am sorry but would love it if you would leave a link in the comments for me.

I have done a few book signings in stores and at events and there is always that moment when you see the daunting pile of books that you wonder if you will be taking you home with you again.. Never fear.. Author Dan Alatorre is here with some great ways to avoid that happening.

9 Ways To Avoid A Humiliating Public Failure At Your Book Signing Event

You finally worked up the nerve to ask a real, live bookstore to have you sign books at an event!

Okay, you emailed them.

But they replied and now you have a signing event! Woo hoo!

Uh oh…

A real live event.With people.

Or worse, maybe with NO people.

I can hear your heart pounding from here. You’ve heard horror stories about signings. Nobody came. Nobody bought a book…

Yeah , that can happen. IF YOU DON’T PLAN FOR A SUCCESSFUL EVENT.

It can happen even if you DO plan. So what do you do? After all, for the most part you tend to be humiliation-averse.

Good thing I was here!  https://danalatorre.com/2017/03/26/9-crucial-tips-for-your-book-signing-event-and-avoiding-a-humiliating-public-failure/

It won’t be long before we will be setting out on trips and I remember packing more for Sam than for us when we did a road trip.. He also seemed to have more paperwork requirements too.. at least we do not need Rabies shots before going to Europe! Here is a very useful blog .. All about dogs…. And a checklist for your next trip.

It’s always a good idea to make a list of essentials to bring along when you’re going on a trip, and traveling with Doggie is no exception. Making a list of items to bring along well in advance of the trip allows you to remember commonly forgotten items and add them to list before you disembark. Here at AllDoggie.com we’ve done the work for you!

When traveling with Doggie, don’t forget these essential items to make Doggie as comfortable as possible! After all, she’s a part of the family, and has some special needs that could be commonly forgotten in the moment of departure.

Here is the checklist: https://alldoggie.com/2017/03/28/traveling-with-doggie-essential-doggie-travel-checklist/

Over the coming months Judith Barrow will be interviewing fellow authors who write family sagas. If you have not read Judith’s three books then I do recommend them all having read and thoroughly enjoyed. Yesterday her guest was Jenny Lloyd author of Leap the Wild Water, Anywhere the Wind Blows and The Calling of the Raven.

My Series of #FamilySaga Authors. Today with Jenny Lloyd #MondayBlogs
Posted on March 27, 2017

Over the next few months I’ll be chatting with authors who, like me, write Family Sagas, (#familysaga) a genre that can cover many countries, years and cultures.I am thrilled that so many excellent writers have agreed to meet here with me. I’m sure you’ll find them as fascinating as I do. All I can say is watch this space. Your TBR list of books will be toppling over!!

Read the very interesting interview with Jenny Lloyd as she talks about the inspiration behind her writing: https://judithbarrowblog.com/2017/03/27/my-series-of-familysaga-authors-today-with-jenny-lloyd-mondayblogs/

I have often written in health posts that I think that music is another food group and I certainly could not imagine my life without it. But how about young children being introduced to classical music and fine art. Jennie Fitzkee has introduced the children in her class to both with stunning results.. This is a fascinating post and even if you do not have children it might inspire you to put Vivaldi whatever musical player you own and get some paints out.

Every year I am surprised when I bring to school my old record player, which looks much like a suitcase. I simply but it down on the floor in front of the children and look at it. Then, I wait for the wonder of what happens next. As children predict what they think it might be, I open the lid and start to carefully touch the turntable and the arm… and then turn it on.

See the results for yourself in this surprising post: https://jenniefitzkee.com/2017/03/26/what-music-does-for-art/

Thank you for popping by and please feel free to share the link to your lastest post in the comments. Thanks Sally

Time for Some Laffs – Blondes have more fun… I know from experience!


The beauty of being blonde and having a touch of the Irish is that there are many jokes you can tell without getting told off. As I am now well into my 60s I can also tell elderly jokes if I remember them.

I have rifled through my drawers (pardon the expression) an unearthed some jokes that have been sent to me.

Anyway… Have fun with this selection and pass them on as laughter is infectious and so much more healthier than the usual virus.

The connecting images have been kindly donated by the wonderful author Tina Frisco and details of how to buy her latest book is at the bottom of the post.

A natural Blonde!

A blonde in first class refuses to move when the ticket holder who paid for the seat boards, saying only, “I’m blonde, I’m beautiful, I’m going to LA to be a star – and I’m not moving to the back of the plane.” Repeatedly. To anyone who tried to convince her otherwise.

The stewardess asks the advice of the captain. Since his wife happens to be blonde, he admits to some expertise in these matters and agrees to handle it. He whispers something in the budding starlet’s ear and she immediately scurries back to the cheap seats, saying only, “Well why didn’t they tell me THAT in the first place?”

The curious stewardess couldn’t wait to hear what the pilot had said to get her to change her mind so abruptly.

“I simply informed her that the front of the plane wasn’t going to Los Angeles.”

Men can have a blonde moment too!

Two engineering students were biking across a university campus when one said, “Where did you get such a great bike?”

The second engineer replied, “Well, I was walking along yesterday, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike, threw it to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, “Take what you want.”

The first engineer nodded approvingly and said, “Good choice: The clothes probably wouldn’t have fit you anyway.”

And a blonde cow!

The only cow in a small town in Northern Italy stopped giving milk. So the town folk found they could buy a cow in Sicily quite cheaply. So, they brought the cow over from Sicily. It was absolutely wonderful. It produced lots of milk every day and everyone was happy.

They bought a bull to mate with the cow to get more cows, so they’d never have to worry about their milk supply again. They put the bull in the pasture with the cow but whenever the bull tried to mount the cow, the cow would move away.

No matter what approach the bull tried, the cow would move away from the bull, and he was never able to do the deed.

The people were very upset and decided to go to the local veterinarian, Dr. Santucchi, who was very wise, to tell him what was happening and to ask his advice.

“Whenever the bull tries to mount our cow, she moves away. If he approaches from the back, she moves forward. When he approaches her from the front, she backs off. If he attempts it from the one side, she walks away to the other side.”

The veterinarian rubbed his chin thoughtfully and pondered this before asking, “Did you by chance, buy this cow in Sicily?”

The people were dumbfounded, since no one had ever mentioned that they had brought the cow over from Sicily.

“You are truly a wise veterinarian,” they said. “How did you know that we got the cow from Sicily?”

The Vet replied with a distant look in his eyes and says, “My wife is from Sicily.”

A not so blonde student!

Students in an advanced Biology class were taking their mid-term exam. The last question was, ‘Name seven advantages of Mother’s Milk.’ The question was worth 70 points or none at all. One student was hard put to think of seven advantages. He wrote:

1) It is perfect formula for the child.
2) It provides immunity against several diseases.
3) It is always the right temperature.
4) It is inexpensive.
5) It bonds the child to mother and vice versa.
6) It is always available as needed.

And then the student was stuck. Finally, in desperation, just before the bell rang indicating the end of the test he wrote:

7) It comes in two attractive containers and it’s high enough off the ground where the cat can’t get it.

He got an A.

A not so blonde salesman

Sid was told if he did not sell more toothbrushes he would be fired. One month later his sales record had soared and his manager called him in to explain the dramatic turnaround.

Sid explained that he had got tired of calling at pharmacies and had set up a little stall at the main train station with some crackers and a new dip.

‘Try my dip,’ he would say, and a constant stream of people did so. When they enquired about the ingredients of the dip, Sid told them: ‘Garlic and Chicken poop!’

They would go ‘Aaaargh!’ and spit it out.

Then Sid would say: ‘Would you like to buy a toothbrush?’

and finally a blonde Irishman

A Scot, Irishman and an Englishman were dining together in a restaurant. When the waiter cleared away the coffee the Scot was heard to ask for the bill.

Next day the newspaper headlines declared: Irish Ventriloquist shot in restaurant.

And finally a blonde cat!  Bless.

I hope you have enjoyed and again thanks to Tina Frisco for contributing the funnies and aah moments.

Tina’s latest book, Vampyrie is receiving fantastic reviews and you can find out all about the book and read the reviews here: https://www.amazon.com/VAMPYRIE-Origin-Vampire-Tina-Frisco-ebook/dp/B01N2UYDG6

Please feel free to pass on – no cats were hurt during the making of this post!